"Snake Conservation and Snake Bite Treatement Centre of Sri Lanka"


This snake farm is located near Matara and was founded in 1905 by Jamis Appuhami, scholar of traditional indigenous medicine and Ayurvedic medicine: being Sri Lanka a tropical paradise full of poisonous species of spiders, scorpions and snakes in particular, he became interested in research antidotes becoming a real guru on the whole island. He then passed his business over to his highly specialized son Wijayapola, who has received numerous invitations to conferences by the Western medical community. Curiously he never accepted.

During his career Wijayapola, who is now in his eighties and partially paralyzed, has collected 32 bites by poisonous animals (including cobra snakes, tropical vipers and tarantulas) and tarantulas tropical) has survived thanks to a remedy of his own invention: a porous stone soaked in some local medicinal herbs that, rubbed on the bite, allows the victim to gain the time needed to reach the nearest hospital.

Now the activity is in the hands of his thirty-five- year-old son Waydyaratna that, in addition to capturing the zoological specimens from which he himself extracts the poison antidotes , also manages the relationship with local physicians getting to stock up their snake farm.

Today Wijayapola spends his days on the couch or in a chair watching TV and enjoying the attention that tourists and locals continue to give him for the valuable services that his family have been giving to the country for generations.